One key skill all kids need to learn is how to set limits for themselves. For children whose parents have always set the limits, leaving home for the first time can be a wild experience. So much freedom, so little experience!
How do children learn to say "no" to themselves? Like everything else, they need practice.
Learning to Set Their Own Limits
When our daughter was in elementary school, she was allowed to choose how much dessert to eat after dinner. You'd think that would have brought her great pleasure - but in fact it was quite the opposite. She wrestled with just how many pieces of candy she should have and she wanted us to decide - not her!
She would ask us how many pieces she should have. We responded "Take what you think is a reasonable amount." At which point she demanded back "Well, what is a reasonable amount?" It went on this way night after night. Eventually she developed the ability to decide for herself and set her own limits without checking first with us.
Helping Your Kids Develop Moderation
Messages pour into our children about all the wonderful things they should have - from the latest video games to the best tennis shoes. Do our children need all these things? No, but they certainly want them!
(read the rest of the article at Priceless Parenting)